Defects and Deterioration in Buildings : a Practical Guide by Barry Richardson

By Barry Richardson

A qualified reference designed to aid surveyors, engineers, architects and contractors in diagnosing present difficulties and heading off them in new constructions. Preliminaries; Contents; Preface; Preface to the 1st version; 1 Defects and deterioration; 2 Structural difficulties; three Thermal difficulties; four Moisture difficulties; five Noise difficulties; 6 wooden difficulties; 7 Masonry difficulties; eight Concrete difficulties; nine Coating difficulties; 10 origin difficulties; eleven Wall difficulties; 12 Window difficulties; thirteen Roof difficulties; 14 ground difficulties; 15 Combustion difficulties; sixteen Plumbing difficulties; 17 exterior difficulties; 18 well-being and security difficulties; References and additional interpreting; Index

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It is virtually impossible to provide a sufficiently reliable vapour barrier at ceiling level, as there is always a danger that air can diffuse round the edges of the barrier and that electricians will damage the barrier when installing light fittings. 3 that the ceiling, warm cavity and deck itself make a significant contribution to the insulation, and there is a danger that interstitial condensation will occur in the deck if insufficient insulation is provided on top of the vapour barrier; in ‘warm’ roof construction of this type problems generally arise because the insulation beneath the roof covering is designed to conform with Building Regulations thermal requirements and the risk of interstitial condensation has not been assessed.

In fact, average relative humidity can be determined much more accurately and more easily by using an electrical probe moisture meter, such as one of the Protimeter instruments, to determine the average moisture content of the softwood joinery components in the accommodation area. These measurements should preferably be made on painted wood, so that the moisture content does not change rapidly with fluctuations in atmospheric relative humidity. The most suitable sampling point is usually the top surface of the architrave across the head of a doorway in an internal partition wall, well away from possible sources of penetrating, rising or condensing moisture; the top surface is used so that the probe holes do not show!

3 (a) Section through brickwork-clad timber frame wall showing temperature gradients through each component, (b) Temperature plotted against thermal resistance to determine temperatures at component interfaces. the main insulation to prevent diffusion of warm humid air from the accommodation into the building element, coupled with a permeable breather paper on the outside of the sheathing plywood which will allow any condensation to disperse to the exterior through the ventilated cavity beneath the vertical tiling.

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